929 posts tagged with ScienceFiction.
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Recent SF/F/H short fiction online

Tables of contents have been published for upcoming best SF, fantasy, and horror collections edited by Neil Clarke, Gardner Dozois, Paula Guran, Rich Horton, and Jonathan Strahan. The Nebula Award suggested reading lists (previously) for novella, novelette, and short story are well-populated. BestSF.net has selected its shortlist. At Strange Horizons, Rachel Swirsky has comments on her favorite short fiction of the year. And at r/Fantasy, the Stabby Award winners have been announced. Many stories suggested by these sources can be read for free. [more inside]
posted by Wobbuffet on Jan 15, 2017 - 8 comments

How you spend your time when you can't build a rocket

Scavengers is a brief animation about explorers stranded on a remote planet that was recently featured on Short of the Week. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine on Jan 3, 2017 - 14 comments

Revisiting "Children of Men" Ten Years On

An in-depth retrospective of the troubled production of Alfonso Cuaron's bleak modern masterpiece of speculative fiction, Children of Men, a decade after it bombed in theaters.
posted by killdevil on Dec 26, 2016 - 121 comments

Prometheus 2

Alien: Covenant - Official trailer
posted by Artw on Dec 24, 2016 - 144 comments

That’s not supposed to happen, right?

"The Venus Effect" by Joseph Allen Hill is "a story of stories, a metafictional experience that sees the narrator seeking to create a story where the main character can take part in big SFF adventures and not, well…not get shot by police." [more inside]
posted by Faint of Butt on Dec 20, 2016 - 16 comments

Speculating Futures

Speculating Futures looks at past speculative narratives, like those of Ursula K. Le Guin, and past attempts at creating technological utopia, like Chile's Cybersyn. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on Dec 16, 2016 - 3 comments

"No. I don't think they ate her."

In N.K. Jemisin's "The Evaluators: To Trade With Aliens, You Must Adapt," an extrasolar investigative team has disappeared, but the United Communities of Earth wants to go forward with a trade agreement. This short story is a part of Wired's first ever issue dedicated to science fiction.
posted by mixedmetaphors on Dec 13, 2016 - 19 comments

To condense fact from the vapor of nuance

It’s no accident that many people who appreciate VR and AR are also fans of scifi books, movies, and TV shows. Technology has imitated art and the other way around, with science fiction writers coining terms like “virtual reality” and “the metaverse,” and tech companies using science fiction writers as in-house futurists and advisers.

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in books with significant AR and VR presence, this is the reading list for you. Also on Goodreads.
posted by timshel on Dec 2, 2016 - 15 comments

And Gene Kelly. I also have Gene Kelly. And his beautiful, perfect ass.

"But seriously. If you're going to create a world where an entire town of Puritanical eighteenth-century Scots(wo)men have their town converted into a forward-motion-only time machine that will, in the span of just one year in their eyes, deposit them in the year 38235 — that's thirty-eight thousand two hundred thirty five — in what frickin universe does it make any sense whatsoever to make your story about a guy one of the village girls develops a crush on, on day goddamn two!?!"
posted by MartinWisse on Dec 2, 2016 - 82 comments

AKIRA: How To Animate Light

How Akira uses lighting to tell its story.
posted by Artw on Nov 29, 2016 - 15 comments

How I Wrote Arrival

After I was done with my rant, the Dans stared at me wide-eyed and said, “All that needs to be in the script. In fact, you can replace most of these little beats with that rant.” And they were right. So I cleaned up my own rant and made it Louise’s in the script, to the colonel trying to understand her reasoning.
Screenwriter Eric Heisserer writes about the process of adapting Ted Chiang's novella "Story of your Life" into the screenplay for Arrival. [more inside]
posted by Sokka shot first on Nov 15, 2016 - 44 comments

Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality

Don't read the description. Just set aside eight minutes and watch Never Happened. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Nov 2, 2016 - 40 comments

Afrofuturism 419

Dear Mr. Sir: I am Dr. Bakare Tunde, the cousin of Nigerian Astronaut, Air Force Major Abacha Tunde. He was the first African in space when he made a secret flight to the Salyut 6 space station in 1979. He was on a later Soviet spaceflight, Soyuz T-16Z to the secret Soviet military space station Salyut 8T in 1989. He was stranded there in 1990 when the Soviet Union was dissolved. He is in good humor, but wants to come home. In the 14 years since he has been on the station, he has accumulated flight pay and interest amounting to almost $15,000,000 American dollars. This is held in a trust at the Lagos National Savings and Trust Association.
posted by ChuraChura on Nov 2, 2016 - 5 comments

A poem for lovers, and lovers of science fiction

In 2010, science fiction and fantasy author (and MeFi's own) Tim Pratt wrote "Scientific Romance", a Valentine's Day love poem for his wife.
posted by Room 641-A on Oct 26, 2016 - 2 comments

Fear of a Feminist Future

A future shaped, at least in part, by women poses such a profound identity threat as to be unthinkable to many ordinary joes.
posted by Lycaste on Oct 18, 2016 - 80 comments

200 years since the dreary summer that gave birth to literary monsters

Just before sunset on April 5, 1815, a massive explosion shook the volcanic island of Sumbawa in the Indonesian archipelago. This destroyed the village of Tambora, erasing the unique culture, and changed world history (previously, more). Among the impacts, a small group of authors and creative types holed up in the Villa Diodati in June of 1816 and wrote two iconic "monster" stories that set up the next two centuries of story telling. You can read the inspiration and subsequent works of Lord Byron, Mary Godwin, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John William Polidori and Claire Clairmont below the break. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 7, 2016 - 27 comments

Mary Cavendish: 17th century duchess, author, scientist, philosopher

Browse through the history of science fiction and you don't see many women named. One of the first is Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, who published a proto-SF novel in 1666, 152 years before Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Also notable, Mary Cavendish published her book, titled The Description of a New World, Called The Blazing-World (Internet Archive), under her own name. The book is a curious mixture of themes and styles: part science fiction, part fantasy, part scientific musing, part political tract, part social commentary and satire, and part autobiography. This diversity of topics reflected the amazing life and interests of its "Happy Creatoress," a woman of means but without formal education of her male peers. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 29, 2016 - 13 comments

I sing the city

The City Born Great, short fiction by Hugo Award winner N. K. Jemisin.
posted by Artw on Sep 28, 2016 - 10 comments

“Very often I am writing about writing,” he says.

No, Alan Moore Isn't a Recluse [Publishers Weekly] “Speaking in intimidatingly long and thoughtful sentences, Moore is affable, relaxed, and eager to talk about his new novel, Jerusalem [Amazon], to be published in September by Norton’s Liveright imprint in the U.S. and Knockabout in the U.K. It’s a 600,000-word opus that has been lurking, Cthulhu-like, behind his last decade of work. Remixing the most-reader-challenging tricks of writers such as James Joyce, Roland Barthes, and Mark Z. Danielewski, Jerusalem is an astonishing collection of words and ideas that weaves a hypnotic spell.” [Previously] [Previously] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Sep 8, 2016 - 33 comments

Listen Up You Primitive Screwheads

A Conversation with Mike Pondsmith, Creator of Cyberpunk 2020
posted by Artw on Sep 8, 2016 - 42 comments

We are transmitting from the year two, oh, oh, four

Thanks to Sci-Fi and Horror fiction podcasts are finally a thing. or perhaps they've been a thing for a bit longer than that.
posted by Artw on Aug 31, 2016 - 59 comments

Heavily-Delayed Horrors Beyond Human Reckoning

The end of WTF D&D's epic saga of 90's music stars and cosmic horrors has finally begun, half a year after that post (which contains links to the entire story so far). Zack and Steve's zany game logs from the interim: Death Star plans on Naboo (1, 2), Dark Heresy: The Lost Dog Detectives (1, 2), a redneck WWE wrestler, a 90's Marvel character trapped in the Cinematic Universe (1, 2) and a Ghostbusters franchise in North Dakota (1, 2). As evidenced by the site's archives, much pointing and laughing at sourcebooks did indeed also ensue.
posted by BiggerJ on Aug 29, 2016 - 3 comments

"The real award is the warm regard and respect of our peers and fans"

On Thursday, the 1941 Retro-Hugo Awards were presented at the 74th Worldcon. Relevant material online includes Slanology: An In-Depth Guide to A.E. van Vogt's Slan, "A Study of 'If This Goes On--'," 1950s radio adaptations of "The Roads Must Roll", comments/links on "Robbie", and Batman #1, as well as a review round-up of many finalists. The 2016 Hugo Awards ceremony set for 8pm CDT this evening will have both video and text coverage (see also #MAC2 on Twitter). The nominees have been broken down by slate at File 770, and Alexandra Erin offers timely remarks in anticipation of the outcome.
posted by Wobbuffet on Aug 20, 2016 - 164 comments

Troubling, enduring work of New England’s strangest son

A new wave of Lovecraftian stories confront, rather than ignore, the racism and antisemitism that permeated Lovecraft's work, and, indeed, served as the basis for much of the horror. This roundtable of authors discussing how they address the problems of Lovecraft is worthwhile. Some authors are explicitly using Lovecraft as a lens on contemporary racism, such as in Matt Ruff's Lovecraft Country [PDF preview], while others mine Lovecraft's fear of the other to examine bigotry, as in Ruthanna Emrys's lovely Litany of Earth [full story] (Emyrs is also part of the Lovecraft Reread, which looks at both the Mythos-building and uncomfortable aspects of Lovecraft's stories). Previously, on the World Fantasy Awards and Lovecraft.
posted by blahblahblah on Aug 18, 2016 - 34 comments

Story of Your Life

Trailer for Arrival, the new Denis Villeneuve film based on a Ted Chiang short story, starring Amy Adams, Forest Whitaker and Jeremy Renner. Ted Chiang on seeing his stories adapted to the screen. Previous Ted Chiang.
posted by Artw on Aug 17, 2016 - 51 comments

how many have you read?

60 Essential Science Fiction & Fantasy Reads. Though you might want to quibble with the "essential" as it's somewhat biased to more recent books but a valuable introduction to the genres nonetheless, the occasional tokenism not withstanding.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 9, 2016 - 152 comments

“But which is the biggest, dumbest object of them all?”

Big Dumb Objects: Science Fiction's Most Mysterious MacGuffins by Damien Walter [The Guardian] “When the unknown is also alien, the mystery only grows more magnetic. Think of that iconic opening to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey: a family of apes wake one morning to find a black monolith looming over them; that had its origins in Arthur C Clarke’s short story The Sentinel. Did some super-advanced civilisation intercede in the early evolution of intelligent life on earth? Or was the monolith just filming a very special edition of Life on Earth? We don’t know, and never find out. But this shiny, looming thing is just one of many Big Dumb Objects [wiki] that have turned up in science fiction over the decades.”
posted by Fizz on Jul 22, 2016 - 50 comments

Barclay Under Pressure

In the almost too perfect Star Trek universe, Lt. Reginald "Reg" Barclay started out as a insecure and neurotic comic relief but became one of its most lovable and relatable characters. Here's a surprisingly sweet tribute to Reg.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Jul 18, 2016 - 40 comments

Explore the Psi Factor, the unknown, with the O.S.I.R and Dan Aykroyd

Dan Aykroyd grew up with psychic researchers and seances, which lead to the original Ghost Smashers idea, which in turn would become the Ghostbusters film. As he and his father, Peter, discussed on Q TV, their shared interest in the unexplained continued. A significant work of theirs was Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal, a Canadian science fiction drama television series co-created by Peter Aykroyd and Christopher Chacon, a researcher of psychic and parapsychological phenomena, and episodes are hosted by Dan Aykroyd. You can now see the show, as archived by fans, on YouTube (72 episode playlist). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 17, 2016 - 12 comments

“May the Force be with us.”

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Celebration Reel [YouTube] Go behind the scenes with the cast and crew of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jul 17, 2016 - 36 comments

"The International Space Police Force ... is a shambles"

Star Cops [YT playlist]: A "blast from the past" that is "paranoid in the way only Cold War eighties drama can be." The ISPF's commander "finds himself stonewalled ... while investigating old crimes with new sci-fi spins ... Throughout the series he picks up a motley collection of 'waifs and strays' ... Some of the plots seem eerily prescient today ... The show is both optimistic that we'll get 'out there' tinged with a realisation that we'll take the worst aspects of humanity on the journey. It's flawed brilliance." [more inside]
posted by Wobbuffet on Jul 16, 2016 - 7 comments

“...with vintage fonts and mottled with faux film grain.”

Netflix’s sci-fi throwback Stranger Things is Yesterday’s Summer Blockbuster Today [A.V. Club] Stranger Things is stylish, beguiling, and eminently bingeable, but it isn’t skeptic-proof. The Duffer brothers, who previously worked on Fox’s surprisingly compelling Wayward Pines, should know by now that open-ended supernatural mysteries are going to dissuade some viewers, particularly those who have felt duped by such stories in the recent past. But anyone willing to push through their resistance will find a borderline hypnotic show that could be to this summer what USA’s Mr. Robot was to last summer: a hyper-stylized niche series that feels essential even at its wobbliest. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jul 15, 2016 - 51 comments

100 African Writers of SFF - Part One Nairobi

An African writer who makes mix tapes of game soundtracks. A Nairobi filmmaker with Nietzsche on his smart phone. A chess champion who loves Philip K Dick. An African SF poet who quotes the Beatniks… meet the new New Wave in Nairobi, Kenya. Part one of our series 100 African Writers of SFF.
posted by infini on Jul 14, 2016 - 4 comments

I'm not sure his this happens, only that it does.

The Forbidden Words Of Margaret A. is a science fiction story by L. Timmel Duchamp, first published in 1990, describing a journalist's heavily-vetted meeting with a woman whose words have been declared illegal by the American government. [more inside]
posted by dng on Jul 13, 2016 - 27 comments

Who's On First (I always wanted to use that as a title)

The pop culture site DigitalSpy ran a poll to determine the most popular science fiction TV series of all time (not including animated or 'comic book based' shows). The winner, with almost 5,000 out of 50,000 votes, was perennial British show Doctor Who (not surprising since it is a British site). But the runner-up, just a hundred votes behind, WAS surprising: '90s space station epic Babylon 5. [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on Jul 5, 2016 - 67 comments

If We Wrote Men Like We Write Women

Author Jim C. Hines (previously, previously, previously, previously) once again takes a look at sexism in Science Fiction and Fantasy, this time looking at the written word.

What if you swapped the genders in classic SF&F novels?
posted by happyroach on Jun 22, 2016 - 166 comments

The sounds of starships

The background engine noises of iconic science fiction spaceships can be remarkably soothing. That is why Spike Snell created 12-hour sound loops of the background hum of the TNG Enterprise (prev.), the old Battlestar Galactica (and the new), a Cylon Basestar, the Discovery from 2001, the Heart of Gold, the Millennium Falcon (made from the sound of a P-51 Mustang), Mass Effect's Normandy, Babylon 5, Serenity, and hundreds more. Strangely, these fake space ship sounds don't sound too different from the actual noise on the ISS or space shuttle Atlantis. And if you don't like any of these, you can always generate your own!
posted by blahblahblah on Jun 9, 2016 - 30 comments

2001: A Picasso Odyssey

2001: A Picasso Odyssey - '2001' rendered in the style of Picasso using Deep Neural Networks based style transfer. More details.
posted by Artw on Jun 8, 2016 - 28 comments

We have portkeys! Boom! Middle of the ocean!

Cartoonist Boulet (previously, previously, related previously) thinks about the problem with all these elaborate traps in adventure movies.
posted by The Whelk on Jun 1, 2016 - 66 comments

Bisexual Buccaneers from Both-Ways Bay

How Tumblr Users Transformed a Homophobic Post Into a Dystopian Science Fiction Lovefest [more inside]
posted by moody cow on May 30, 2016 - 27 comments

M I N D W E B S

Mind Webs: semi-dramatized readings of classic science fiction stories by Le Guin, Ballard, Wolfe, Clarke, Dick, Bester, Bradbury, Sheckley, Lafferty, Leiber, Merril, Brunner, Russ, Davidson, Matheson, Vonnegut, deFord, Asimov, Counselman, Spinrad, Bloch, Niven, Clingerman, Harrison, Sturgeon, Aldiss, Knight, Saberhagen, Saxton, Pohl, Silverburg, Cheever, Zelazny, Farmer, Simak, Dybek, Dahl, Priest, and many others. Originally broadcast between the late 70s and early 90s by WHA (AM) of Madison, Wisconsin. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on May 20, 2016 - 10 comments

Are my points safe?

Hyper-Reality presents a provocative and kaleidoscopic new vision of the future, where physical and virtual realities have merged, and the city is saturated in media.
posted by brundlefly on May 19, 2016 - 25 comments

Friday Flash Fiction: Plot Elements used in Plot.

17 Amazing Plot Elements... When You See #11, You'll Be Astounded! [more inside]
posted by storybored on May 5, 2016 - 9 comments

Sci-Fi London 48 Hour Film Challenge

On Saturday morning you're given a title, a line of dialogue, and a description of a prop. Exactly 48 hours later, your team hands in a completed 5-minute science fiction film. The shortlisted 5-minute films to win this year's challenge have just been announced, and are free to watch here. Plus, in a new twist for this year, the shortlisted flash fiction (<1500 words) entries based on the same time limit and randomised prompts. [more inside]
posted by metaBugs on May 3, 2016 - 6 comments

I prefer the term "acticulated figurine" myself...

The Failed ‘Operation: Aliens’ Cartoon and the Kenner Toys it Inspired
posted by Artw on Apr 27, 2016 - 19 comments

Puppies All the Way Down

The 2016 Hugo Award finalists have been announced. As is probably to be expected given the problems of the last two years slates have yet again had an outsized influence on the nominations. Though various fixes have been proposed the future of the award may be in doubt.
posted by Artw on Apr 26, 2016 - 420 comments

A Private Little War

Between 1975 and 1977, Paramount and Gene Roddenberry planned to make a Star Trek movie, but it turned out to be anything but easy. What would it be about? Plot ideas included time travel, snake people, God, black holes and the titans of ancient Greek mythology. Writer after writer took a turn at coming up with a story, leaving behind a string of rejected screenplays. In March 1978, Paramount president Michael Eisner announced a film spin-off. The race to make Star Trek: The Motion Picture was on. (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 23, 2016 - 96 comments

A crash course in the history of black science fiction.

42 black science fiction works that are important to your understanding of its history. Nisi Shawl has assembled a rich syllabus of novels and story collections, from 1859 to 2015. Some fantasy and horror along with the strictly science fictional.
posted by doctornemo on Mar 10, 2016 - 36 comments

"[C.E.] has been rejected by every single game publisher on the planet."

The story of Cosmic Encounter is about a flash of creative genius in the early seventies, followed by four decades of struggle to see that vision fully realised. Despite the rapturous critical acclaim Cosmic Encounter has accrued in the 39 years since its first publication, it has not been followed by commercial success. Indeed, the creators of the greatest boardgame in existence have never made a living off it. The making of Cosmic Encounter, the greatest boardgame in the galaxy
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Mar 9, 2016 - 43 comments

To erase the line between man and machine

Every Best Visual Effects Winner. Ex Machina [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 8, 2016 - 28 comments

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